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Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is a life changing event and you and your family may experience a wide range of emotions during the treatment pathway.

On a positive note, bowel cancer is one of the most common and treatable cancers. The colorectal team at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a dedicated specialist team and our aim is for you to receive the best possible care.

We will be your key workers / nurse specialists to help you through the next few weeks / months or years, for however long you may need our support.

Our names are:

  • Jo Polley Specialist Nurse for Colorectal Cancer
  • Marguerite Kelly Specialist Nurse for Colorectal Cancer


We are available to contact regarding any concerns you may have, or merely to have someone to talk to. Our working hours are Monday– Friday 8.00 – 4.30pm. Our contact numbers are:

  • St Peter’s Hospital 01932 726856 (office)
  • St Peter’s switchboard 01932 872000 – ask them to page us on 8975


  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Please leave a message if we are unavailable and we will return your call as soon as we can. If we are on leave or away from the Trust, there will be a message advising you whom to contact in our absence.

For assistance regarding appointments you may contact the colorectal secretaries on:

  • 01932 722318
  • 01932 722233

Out of hours please contact your GP for advice or visit the Accident and Emergency department at St Peter’s Hospital.

We work very closely with a team of Consultant Surgeons, Consultant Oncologist (Cancer Doctor), medical staff, clinical nurse specialists, radiologists and pathologists. Together we form the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). As core members of this team we will act as your Key workers and advocate throughout your care.


What do Key workers do?

As your key workers, our aim is to help coordinate your care and provide you with continuity. We can do this by acting as a link between you and the various other hospitals / staff involved in your care.

We appreciate that this can be a very difficult time for you and your family / friends and you are likely to experience a wide range of emotions. It may be that you feel you need more information about your illness and the treatment or management planned for you. You may have choices to make, want to know what to expect in the future or want the opportunity to talk about how you are feeling.

We are here to answer any questions, discuss your individual worries or concerns, but also to talk as openly with you as you want about the impact and reality of your diagnosis and treatment. We can liaise with the GPs, district nurses and community Macmillan Nurses as required.


How is your care planned?

The Multi–Disciplinary team (MDT) meets weekly on a Tuesday afternoon to discuss all newly diagnosed patients. All the investigations that have been performed are discussed and a recommended treatment plan agreed. This will then be discussed with you in the outpatient department and we will be present to support you.

During your treatment or follow-up surveillance the MDT will discuss any investigations that may be of concern.

All the surgery is carried out at St Peter’s Hospital. If radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy is required this is carried out at St Luke’s Cancer Centre, Guildford.


Additional Support

Acute Oncology Service

This service provides access to specialist oncology advice and assessment for patients presenting with acute cancer - related problems needing unplanned and sometimes emergency treatment.

The benefit of the service is that patients with cancer related problems admitted to A&E and to the wards can be seen more quickly and feel more reassured that their care and correct treatment is being planned and delivered.


The Road To Recovery

This cancer information and support program is free of charge and open to all cancer patients and their carers. It is a six week course that helps people who are having treatment or recovering from cancer to get on with life. The course concentrates on refocusing on inner strengths and resilience to support people to cope emotionally, psychologically and practically.

The course is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and led by a Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with a Counsellor.

For more information or If you are interested in attending please ask your key worker.


Palliative care

‘Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual.’ (World Health Organisation 2002)

Referral to specialist palliative care services in the hospital or in the community may be facilitated by your Key worker, GP or Consultant.


Macmillan resource room

This room is located in St Peter’s Outpatients’ department, area 2. It offers a quiet place for people to sit. It has a variety of information that you may find helpful, from financial planning to healthy eating.

  • Macmillan financial advice line - Are able to offer advice regarding benefits that you may be entitled to.

Telephone: 0808 808 0000

  • Ashford Breast Cancer Support Group (ABC) is a patient led support group based at Ashford Hospital. Please ask us for information if you would like to attend.


Spiritual Support

The Hospital Chaplain, holds contact details of all the recognised bodies offering spiritual care, across the Trust. Patients and their families who feel this input would be helpful can contact the Hospital Chaplain via the hospital switchboard – 01932 872000.

The small multi–faith chapel situated on level 2 in St Peter’s Hospital, welcomes everyone.


Interpreters and translation services

Interpreters / translation services can be available for non-English speaking, Deaf and hard of hearing, or visually impaired patients if required.

Written information can also be obtained as required.

Chaperone’s can also be made available before a consultation or procedure if requested by the patient.


Improving Cancer Care and action Group (ICCAG)

This is a group of cancer patients and family members / carer’s who have recently set up a cancer service user forum. The focus of the group is to work together with the Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Cancer Team to find ways of improving the care and the experience of being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment for patients and their families. If you are interested in joining or learning more about their work, they would be delighted to meet you. Please ask your dedicated Key worker for meeting dates.


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